SHREVEPORT, LA – Mary Virginia Simpson McClanahan passed away peacefully in the early morning of June 21, 2014.
Mary met her husband of 64 years, Fred Charles McClanahan, Jr., in her hometown of Ballinger, Texas where he was training as a fighter pilot. They eventually settled in Shreveport and had two children, Fred McClanahan, III and Elizabeth McClanahan Waldmann. She was preceded in death by her parents, Troy and Hester Simpson, and her husband Fred.
She is perhaps best known to thousands of C.E. Byrd High School graduates as an English and Psychology teacher who demanded their best and often inspired them to go beyond what they thought was their best. She is remembered fondly by many students who went on to teach, write, create, and inspire others to do the same. Her teaching extended into her retirement when she was active with Literacy Volunteers of America.
After graduating from Ballinger High School, where she was head cheerleader, she attended Hardin-Simmons University and completed her undergraduate studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. She later received her Masters in Education from LSU.
Teaching was only one part of her years of involvement in the lives of others. She was a member of Broadmoor United Methodist Church and for years was active in United Methodist Women, The Couples Class, the Choir, and other church groups. She was a sought-after Sunday School teacher for many years. In the 1950’s and 60’s, she was active in the League of Women Voters, writing booklets explaining the workings of city government and working to increase voter participation in all segments of our society.
In her private time, she raised two children, taught many children to swim in the family’s backyard pool, and read voraciously. In her retirement years, Mary and her husband, Fred, traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
She is survived by her children Fred and wife Lydia of Shreveport, LA and Elizabeth McClanahan Waldmann and husband Lester of Kenner, LA. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Troy Waldmann and wife Amy of Mandeville, LA, Patrick McClanahan and wife Kyndall of Shreveport, LA, Eric McClanahan of Duson, LA, Kristen Waldmann Desobry and husband Ben of Shreveport, LA, Rev. Evan McClanahan and wife Amanda of Houston, TX, Paul Waldmann and wife Kristen of New Orleans, LA and Troy and Kyle McClanahan of Shreveport, LA. She is also survived by nine great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the amazing and caring staff of The Oaks of Louisiana. From the first years in independent living to her final years in assisted living and the Willis-Knighton Health Center, her compassionate care has been extraordinary. We also want to thank her physician, Dr. Richard Sipes; the excellent caretakers of Preferred Care at Home, and last, but far from least, the caring professionals from Willis-Knighton Hospice.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday June 26, 2014 at Forest Park West Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel of The Oaks of Louisiana (formerly Live Oak), 600 East Flournoy Lucas Road, Shreveport, LA. The family will receive friends following the service. Officiating will be Rev. Evan McClanahan.
Honoring their grandmother as pallbearers will be Troy Waldmann, Patrick McClanahan, Eric McClanahan, Paul Waldmann, Troy McClanahan, and Kyle McClanahan.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.